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Recognizing the Abusive Addict Within..

Brandy is an addict.  She cannot and should not eat sugars, caffeine or refined carbs.  
I started working with Brandy on and off about 5 years ago. She has been consistently working with me a little over a year.  And the story had not changed.  It was the same story I heard 5 years ago.  If ‘he’ did this; or if ‘he’ said that... then she would be happy.  And yet, Brandy was never able to focus on the things in her own life that might make her happy.
About a month ago, Brandy had a huge breakthrough...She contacted me because she needed someone to talk to. Her mind was possessed by uncontrollable thoughts.   She was incapable of listening to anything except the torment racing inside her head. 
Brandy’s excuses were rampant and consistent:  “I am a single mother; I have to work; the kids need too much of my time; my house is out of control.”  She was in what I call ‘hummingbird’ energy.  She could not speak fast enough and everything out of her mouth was a complaint; she was flitting from one issue to another, and none were going to heal her.  
When she finally allowed me to speak, I tried to point out how she was wasting her time and energy.  That is not what she wanted to hear, and she forced her thoughts back to that hummingbird place that made no sense... not to me anyway.  The problem I saw was that Brandy was in the blame game and was not accountable for her own words and actions.  And in that game, healing is lost.
My reply was always the same.. “Stop blaming outwardly; change you inwardly”.  These were not the words she wanted to hear; yet it was the truth.
Basically Brandy lived in a state of constant overwhelmed energy. She was always busy  and never getting anything done.  She knew what needed to be done; but time was a culprit.. she was sure she would never have enough of it!
What Brandy did not understand was that time was not the problem.  She had more than enough time; she was simply choosing to waste it.   And what was she wasting it on?  She was wasting it on her obsessive thoughts which left very little time and energy for actually creating her desires in life.  
By the end of our conversation, Brandy had finally worn her self out.  She promised that she would at least commit to changing her diet.  She promised to stop the sugar, the refined carbs and the caffeine (which included chocolate); all the foods that fed her hummingbird energy!
The next week, I received an email from a very different person.  Brandy was focusing on cleaning up her home, playing with her children, having dinner parties for her family.  Brandy let go of what ‘he’ was doing and began to give energy to what she desired in her life.... a happy home and family. Brandy was beginning to enjoy her ‘self’... she was beginning to feel the joy of creating.
And then a funny thing happened.  A week and a half into her program, I received an email that something had shifted.  She had no energy and no desire to keep going in the direction she had been going. She was forcing herself to do things, but there was no joy or energy in any of it.  She had no idea what caused the change in her behavior.
By Thursday, we were back on the phone.  My first question was, “Have you been eating any sugar or caffeine?
She was as honest as she could be, “I only had one bite of a snickers bar on Tuesday and that was it.  Really.”  She then explained that she noticed the shift in her attitude and energy levels on Sunday.
“You may have noticed the shift on Sunday,” I explained.  “However, it actually began on Saturday night.  What did you have for dinner on Saturday?”
“Actually, I did really well”, she informed me.  I had my family over and I had a piece of chicken, some vegetables and a potato........”  And then I could feel her memory working, and she finished with... “and an eclair! I did not even remember that until just now.  It was sitting there and without thinking I ate one.”  
Hmm... now isn’t that interesting... white sugar, refined carbs and chocolate.  Brandy had unconsciously fed her addiction.  And the addictive behaviors kicked in. That one eclair set her back 3 days... and by Tuesday she was losing her high and needed that one bite of chocolate to keep it going.. just one little bite which set her back another 2 days.. and now Thursday.. her addictive personality was reacting to those little bites she was feeding it.
Addictions are like having a pet mouse begging for a crumb.  An entity needing to be fed just enough to keep it alive.  I see it over and over and over again... that inability to say no... and often it is an unconscious behavior.  
This time, however, when we talked about her addictive behavior, Brandy could hear every word.  She was not yet fully blown into her hummingbird energy.  She was taking full responsibility for her actions.  She could see clearly how she was heading back to being out of control and she wanted to change..right in that moment.
Being a sugar or caffeine addict is no different than being an alcoholic or drug addict.  When out of balance, this energy destroys what we love in life.  It keeps us from being happy, being loved... it keeps us in the cycle of abuse.  And as we abuse our ‘self’, we eventually turn it into abusing everyone and everything we love in life.
Last I heard, Brandy was back eating the foods that showed her body and her mind that she was loving her self again.  She was back to cleaning her home, playing with her children and enjoying her family.  Brandy was learning to love her ‘self’.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that could have been my story. I'm not a single mother but I did practically everything in that story. It was kind of a validation to see the words about being addicted to caffeine and sugar and that it's the same as an alcoholic or drug addict. I have never wanted to believe that but it is so true for me. I have been fighting this addiction for years and am hoping that I am heading towards a good place with the food. I understand Brandy's struggle and wish her well!

Kathy in Vietnam said...

Great story, hit home! Being a caffeine addict myself, this story came at the perfect time. Thank you for sharing, it really helped me.
Kathy Fortin